A Well-Worn Face

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The Commonwealth Forced Adoption Apology
Reaches out to mothers …. such as me
Including fathers and adoptees
Then of course all the families
Those who lost a child had nothing to gain
All we have is never-ending pain
An Apology it is hoped will heal
Yet it is a child they did steal
The end never justifies the means
As is echoed by mothers screams
We carried our child and formed a bond
Then were told our child did not belong
To one such as I – a single Mum
What on earth had I done?
To have my child taken away
Ignorant in every way
Denied any right to have my say
My son has no rightful heritage
They have taken his identity
From Churches, Hospitals and Charity Organisations
Governments & Communities gave no dispensation
Parents of two, were to raise my child
Is how those involved, justified
Separation between mother and son
Is how their lives had begun
Taking my child didn’t make it right
I’ve mourned my child, day and night
I have my special mementos
A pair of socks to cover tiny toes
But now, as everyone knows
After 47 years the pain shoots
He wears ……………. work boots
There are those who still consider it a disgrace
Setting us apart from the Human Race
I turn and walk away, as tears fall down,
over a well-worn face.


This poem was written for the National Apology in Canberra on March 21, 2013, to go into the National Archives of Australia. The image of the booties is a lasting memento of my son for the Memorial Garden at Parliament House in Canberra.